Meet Joseph Anthony Foronda, who plays six characters in Stuck Elevator! Having received three Joseph Jefferson Awards for his work in Chicago, we think he can handle it.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Name: Joseph Anthony Foronda
Roles: Boss’ Wife, Dancer, Elevator, Old Guāng, General Tso, Zhōng Yi
Joseph Anthony Foronda
Stuck Elevator runs April 4–28.
Learn more about the production and order tickets.

What are your preshow/postshow rituals?
I try to arrive 1–2 hours early before our call time to relax, stretch, and go over any notes by walking the stage and audience area.

What is your favorite thing about San Francisco?
I have too many favorite things about the city. In no particular order: the scenic beauty, proximity to the Pacific, the food, the people. . . friendly and warm.

What is your favorite Stuck Elevator song and why?
"Delivery": it's the old-fashioned idea of communicating and having a relationship via the mail system; the contrast of "the patient wait" versus the immediacy of today's electronic "right now" mindset. Beautifully sung by Mr. Ahn and Ms. Arcilla.

Six characters! How do you do it?
I think, as an actor, multiplicity would be a fun process. Who wouldn't enjoy playing multiple roles?

The ensemble plays various characters exist in the imagination of the main character,
Guāng. Can you share one aspect of Guāng that is illuminated by your character(s)?

I bring out Guāng's sense of jealousy of another male persona who he thinks has a better life. It's basic human nature to covet, in my humble opinion.

If you were to battle it out with a monster, who would you be and what would be your super
hero power?

I'd be Marvel's Daredevil, the blind-but-sense-heightened superhero who also uses his smarts to battle crime.

Joseph Anthony Foronda in Stuck Elevator rehearsal.
Photo courtesy of Julius Ahn.
We're impressed with your three-time Joseph Jefferson Award winner status! Can you share a memorable experience from your time in Chicago?
The play was Pacific Overtures (Chicago Shakespeare Theater, 2001). There was apparently a lot at stake hinging on the success of the show. The concept was the minimalization of a perceived "big musical," with a multiracial cast. It had poor sales at the start of the run (lots of walkouts, even Asian audience members left), but it ended up selling out, going to the Donmar Warehouse in London, and winning many awards. The wonderful set for Pacific Overtures was designed by the wonderful [Stuck Elevator scenic designer] Dan Ostling!

Read Joseph Anthony Foronda's full bio on the A.C.T. Stuck Elevator show page.

Meet Stuck Elevator's Lowell Abellon, and find out what his favorite cookie joint is in San Francisco.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Name: Lowell Abellon
Role: Understudy for Raymond J. Lee


Lowell Abellon
Stuck Elevator runs April 4–28.
Learn more about the production and order tickets.
What are your preshow/postshow rituals?
Preshow: I jump around in the wings before I go on stage. Postshow: I rush home to watch who got voted off my favorite reality TV show.

What is your favorite thing about San Francisco?
Anthony's Cookies on Valencia Street.

What is your favorite song and why?
"Giant White Balloon" because it's wonderfully sad and pessimistic.

The ensemble plays various characters to draw out the complexity of the main character, Guāng. Can you share one aspect of Guāng that is illuminated by your character(s)?
Guāng wants to be a hero for his son, Wáng Yuè. Culturally, this story is quite common. A lot of parents leave their homeland in pursuit of the American Dream to provide a better life for their children back home.

If you were to battle it out with a monster, who would you be and what would be your super hero power?
I'd be the monster. My powers would be rapid regenerative healing and power mimicry.

We're impressed with your stage credits! Can you tell us a little more about your experiences in the world premiere of The Kite Runner?
Being in The Kite Runner was a blessing; it's how I got my Equity card. The play was really impactful. At the end of every show, when the stage goes black, we would always hear this kind of cathartic release from the audience, which proves there truly is power in storytelling. We also went kite flying and attempted kite fighting and running at Garin Park. It takes a ton of skill; we left with bloody fingers and hands.

Read Lowell Abellon's full bio on the A.C.T. Stuck Elevator show page.


Meet Stuck Elevator's Perry Aliado and learn who his superhero alter ego is!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Name: Perry Aliado
Role: Understudy for Julius Ahn and Joseph Anthony Foronda


Perry Aliado
Stuck Elevator runs April 4–28.
Learn more about the production and order tickets.
What are your preshow/postshow rituals?


One weird quirk I have is that while I wait offstage before my very first entrance in a show, I repeatedly make the sign of the cross, maybe about 10–15 times in a row in extremely quick succession. It's something I learned (and still do) from my Roman Catholic upbringing, but in theatre settings, I use this as sort of a good luck gesture for myself and for the performance overall.

What is your favorite thing about San Francisco?


Mitchell's Ice Cream Shop at 29th Street and San José Avenue, easily. And almost without fail, my selection is a mango and langka (Filipino jackfruit) double scoop in a waffle cone. I could really go for some ice cream now . . .

Stuck Elevator is told in part with songs titled "Men Meiyou Kai," "Atlantic City," and "Orange Beef." What is your favorite song and why?
Today, my favorite song is "Real"—it's short and simple, but to me it's packed with the love and hope Guāng has for his wife Míng as he implores her to hang on, on the other side of an ocean, while trying to reassure her that somehow he will make everything right. But most importantly, I just love listening to Julius Ahn sing this beautiful song.

If you were to battle it out with a monster, who would you be and what would be your super hero power?
I absolutely love math and numbers, so my alter ego super hero would be Pi Man. In battle, he would chant—recite the digits of pi while encircling his enemies like a zooming cyclone, leaving them to fall into a dazed, hypnotic trance. Pi Man's sidekick, Fibonacci Dude, would proceed to round up their monster enemies with his mathemagical Golden Fibonacci Spiral, helping to end the monsters' reign of terror and bring peace and Mathematics to all the Metropolis.

As a Bay Area dramaturg, casting director, and actor, you must be busy! Can you tell us a little more about your work as resident dramaturg of Custom Made Theatre Company?
My first experience doing dramaturgical work ever was on Custom Made Theatre Company's (CMTC's) 2010 production of The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, by Stephen Adly Guirgis. I was cast as Saint Peter, but I also felt this immense urge to break down the entire script and research (or "geek out on" as I prefer to call it) all of the historical and biblical references made in the play. As an aside, the play really spoke to me personally at that point in my life. Also, it just felt really nice to be a pseudo-academic again, which I hadn't experienced since I graduated from college. Since my time with Judas Isacriot, my artistic director, Brian Katz, has given me the freedom to "geek out" and do research on all of our subsequent CMTC productions, and allowed me to be the company's go-to guy for any and all things academic with our shows. It's a service to our actors and creative team, for sure, but for me it's also a stupendous outlet to channel and release any pent-up geekery that may be in my system.

Read Perry Aliado's full bio on the A.C.T. Stuck Elevator show page.

Meet Stuck Elevator's Joel Perez, whose credits include Showtime's The Big C with Laura Linney and the First Broadway National Tour of In the Heights.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Name: Joel Perez
Roles: Marco, Bladder, Player, Resident


Joel Perez
Stuck Elevator runs April 4–28.
Learn more about the production and order tickets.
What are your preshow/postshow rituals?
I like to do something physical before every show. Usually it's going for a run, yoga, or spinning. It gets the juices flowing! After a show, I like to enjoy some bourbon and Family Guy.

What is your favorite thing about San Francisco?
The landscape. It is a really nice change from the concrete jungle that is NYC.

What is your favorite song and why?
My favorite song is probably "Takeout Man." It's a fun song that leads up to a bad-ass wrestling match.

The ensemble plays various characters to that draw out the complexity of the main character
Guāng. Can you share one aspect of Guāng that is illuminated by your character(s)?

Guāng's friendship with Marco is very special. They are both immigrants from opposite sides of the world, but their experience brings them together. It is a nice example of how, despite a language difference, people can still find camaraderie.

If you were to battle it out with a monster, who would you be and what would be your super
hero power?

I'd want the power of flight and telekinesis.

Joel Perez in Stuck Elevator rehearsal.
Photo courtesy of Julius Ahn.
We're impressed with your TV and musical theater credits! Can you tell us a little more about
your experiences in Showtime's The Big C with Laura Linney and being in the First Broadway
National Tour of In the Heights?

Working on The Big C was pretty incredible. How I got that job is a great story: I was called in to do a table read of an episode with the cast in Connecticut (where the series is produced) for a character who was already going to be played by an actor who lives in L.A. The character spoke Spanish in the episode, so I was called in to translate the text and read it with Laura Linney. Needless to say, I was FREAKING OUT! But I kept it cool and did the table read. After it was done, I thanked the director and show runner and they were very pleased with my work—so much so that they re-wrote another character so I could be in the episode! I got to do some fun scenes with Gabourey Sidibe [best known for her work in Precious]. Shooting in Puerto Rico was also a nice plus. I learned so much during the shoot and definitely plan to do more TV work during my career.

In the Heights was a big reason why I moved to NYC after graduating from Tufts University. After seeing that show, I saw that my dream of being on Broadway wasn't completely ridiculous. The story of my culture and family was being shared and there was a place for me. I was waiting tables and pounding the pavement in NYC when I got the job. I got my Equity card and got the chance to tell this story around the country—and even Tokyo! I made some incredible friends and it's an experience that I will cherish forever.

Read Joel Perez's full bio on the A.C.T. Stuck Elevator show page.

Meet Cindy Im, who returns to us after 4000 Miles to join the cast of Stuck Elevator.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Name: Cindy Im
Role: Understudy for Marie-France Arcilla

Cindy Im
Stuck Elevator runs April 4–28.
Learn more about the production and order tickets.

What are your preshow/postshow rituals?
Preshow: Vocal and physical warm-ups and a cup of green tea. I also find the ritual of putting on makeup and doing hair to be really centering. Postshow: the bar!

What is your favorite thing about San Francisco?
It's so beautiful here. When I drive across the Bay Bridge or go to Land's End, I'm reminded of how lucky we are that this is available to us at any time. And the food is amazing!

What is your favorite song and why?
"Men Meiyou Kai" is my favorite. It's the only song in the show that's sung in Mandarin, and the melody is gorgeous and haunting. Julius is able to convey so much in that song, and we don't need to understand the words he's saying to know what he's feeling.

Meet Stuck Elevator's Raymond J. Lee, whose credits include tap dancing with Sutton Foster in Anything Goes on Broadway, and flexing his classical chops in Two Gentlemen of Verona at the Public Theater

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Name: Raymond J. Lee
Role(s): Wáng Yuè (王岳), Snakehead, Nephew, Mugger, Dealer, Customer, Young Guāng


Raymond J. Lee
Stuck Elevator runs April 4–28.
Learn more about the production and order tickets.
What are your preshow/postshow rituals?


I always make sure to listen to some music to relax me and get me ready for the show. Also a cup of green tea before I start the makeup/hair process is very important. Oh, and of course remember to pee before the show!

What is your favorite thing about San Francisco?


I love the energy of this city and the incredible weather! Coming from a wintry New York to sunny SF has been fantastic. I also love how many different neighborhoods there are here in SF and the endless museum, restaurant, bar, and shopping possibilities. San Francisco has such amazing culture and history, and you can definitely feel that in the city.

What is your favorite song and why?
My favorite song in the show has got to be "Real," because it is such a beautiful song and a beautiful yet heartbreaking moment in the show. You get to see the relationship that Míng and Guāng have and the sacrifice that both have endured in order to give their son, Wáng Yuè, and indirectly themselves, a better life. Plus Julius Ahn sings it so beautifully that I just have to stop what I'm doing and watch. My favorite song to perform is probably the Nephew's part in "It Could Be Worse," because in one short moment the audience learns the pains and dangers of being smuggled to America in a container ship.
 
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